Poem: The Sunburn Purchase of 1970
May 19, 2013 * Dominique Larntz
Dedicated to the Rights of Nature Movement
Nature purchased me early.
At 3 months old, the sun
scorched my skin
across the side of a mountain
like it thought I might be
an agent of photosynthesis.
I am owned by nature
and fail to fathom the delusion
that man owns land.
Like a long-running movie
with dramatic courtroom scenes
where everyone’s malnourished,
I’ve stepped out to get some air
and seen the scenes are two dimensional,
and the script’s someone’s trip to make money.
When I was young, the fingers of reality
found me for that mountain moment but now
I am old and nature finds me everywhere.
I refuse conversations about who-owns-what
and I silently grow thyme on my back porch
as the plants call forth their right to flourish.
I hear it like the thrum of my heartbeat,
a song so much fuller than the noise of commerce—
the verdant cadence of reality
trickling through fantasy as the ice melts
around schemes of domination and colonization—
old ragged frozen prehistoric fish rhymes.
Instead the letters of real things start to appear.
Lexicons that interweave breath making and breath taking,
water ways and solar rays, until I can walk up that mountain
at a time near my last breath making friends
with the sun, with technology, with my fellow man,
with the landscape, with the whole of the day.
We don’t own land like
I don’t perform photosynthesis—
which the planet needs to make air—
the air I depend on for every breath of life;
breath I gulp as the plants move me.